Currency moves the kicker
There were trading updates galore from the retailers and most are very grim, with Shoprite* showing that inflation is dropping post the drought with it reporting 5.9% inflation compared to 7.4% in December. This offers another glimmer of hope for consumers. However, the big story for Shoprite was the currency moves. For example, Nigerian sales increased a massive 50.24%, but currency moves saw them down 6.98% in rand terms. This is always going to be a risk. And while we’ll also see years when the opposite happens, our currency is stronger than most currencies in the rest of Africa so the overall trend is likely to be negative.